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J Biol Chem. 1988 Aug 15;263(23):11516-22.

Structural characterization of Escherichia coli phosphatidylserine decarboxylase.

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Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Texas Medical School, Houston.


Phosphatidylserine decarboxylase of Escherichia coli is one of a small group of pyruvoyl-dependent enzymes (Satre, M., and Kennedy, E.P. (1978) J. Biol. Chem. 253, 479-483). The DNA sequence of the structural gene (psd) and partial protein sequence studies demonstrate that the enzyme contains two nonidentical subunits, alpha (Mr = 7,332) and beta (Mr = 28,579), which are derived from a single proenzyme. These two subunits are blocked at their respective amino termini. Reduction of the enzyme with NaCNBH3 in the presence of radiolabeled phosphatidylserine resulted in association of the label with the alpha subunit. Similar reduction in the presence of ammonium ions exposed a new amino terminus for the alpha subunit beginning with alanine. Therefore, the pyruvate prosthetic group is in amide linkage to the amino terminus of the alpha subunit. The amino terminus of the beta subunit was determined to be formylmethionine. The carboxyl terminus of the beta subunit was determined to be glycine as predicted by the DNA sequence. Comparison of the DNA sequence and protein sequence information revealed that the decarboxylase is made as a proenzyme (Mr = 35,893), and the predicted amino acid at the position of the pyruvate within the open reading frame of the proenzyme is serine. Therefore, as with other pyruvoyl-dependent decarboxylases, the prosthetic group is derived from serine through a post-translational cleavage of a proenzyme.

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